Dear Austin Women Invest to Elect Members-

And we are off and running. Our first event is in the books and the next ones are coming up very soon!

Upcoming Events

March 26 @ 11am CST - Emily’s List will host a briefing on 2022 Priorities with Stephanie Schirock - Emily’s List President, Lucinda Guinn – 2020 DCCC Executive Director and Melissa Williams – Emily’s List Vice President of Independent Expenditures. You can RSVP here

March 30 - Save the date for a member meeting focusing on Voting Rights!

April 13 @ 6:30pm - Senator Cortez Masto RSVP & Candidate Profile

NOTE: Although this event is in April, first quarter fundraising reports are highly anticipated and scrutinized. Often times a great first quarter can dissuade challengers from entering a race. Please consider donating before 3/31/21 if possible!

April 17 - Please support our Asian community by attending the Rally to #StopAsianHate. You can RSVP here. You can also make a contribution to #StopAsianHate Fundraiser to benefit the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs-Comm Education Foundation. Donate Here

Event notes - Senator Maggie Hassan - Monday March 8, 2021

Sen. Hassan’s intro:

American Rescue Plan (ARP)- Most comprehensive bill for working families in a generation with more than 85% of all households with $1400, Expands unemployment insurance through August, tax credit per child of $3000 - $3600 and tax credit is refundable and paid out monthly in advance

Other items include estimated to cut child poverty in US by 50% and health insurance premiums on AFC, $39 Billion for childcare crisis, significant $ for schools, PPE, safe classrooms, and directly aimed at helping kids regain ground lost during remote learning, summer enrichment, and after school programs. + dedicated funding for kids with special needs.

Senator Hassan is on the subcommittee to make sure spending happens as intended.

On Minimum Wage Vote- Hassan didn’t vote for it last week. Supports increase to $12 or possibly $15, but the amendment issue does more than just the minimum wage and was concerned on impact on restaurants and small businesses at a time when these are the very businesses that are struggling. With a 60 vote threshold, we did not have the necessary votes to pass the bill.

Sen Hassan is in a tough race, she won her last election by only 1017 votes.
In New Hampshire, federal candidates did well in 2020, but the state leg did not do well but went from Democratic control in both the House and Senate to Republican control in both houses.

The Senator is trying to deter some heavyweights from entering the race, so twas grateful for our early support.

Her priorities:
Strengthen economy
Opportunities for entrepreneurs
Create Jobs
Attending to challenges brought on by the pandemic
Climate change 
Mental health, including the opioid crisis. 
Robust Cyber security and international security alliances. 

Question - $15 min wage...can we get bipartisan support?

Answer - Need a more nuanced approach, e.g. restaurants would struggle with tipped employees $15/hour. A number of senators voted for an amendment that was just a straight $15 an hour, but wouldn’t decouple the minimum wage for tipped workforce. This was why she had to vote against the bill.
We believe we can get something done but we expect President Biden to take a leadership role as well. 

Question - How optimistic are you on an infrastructure bill?

Response - Hopeful President will be able to get some Republicans to talk to him about how to put together a bipartisan plan. Republicans want to do this, hoped Trump would have done something but he never did. There has been some good bipartisan work on some things, but the challenge will be how to find bipartisan support to fund it. Republicans have rediscovered their concern for the national debt and are using it to block legislation.

Question - ARP seems expensive--should we be concerned?

Answer - all the data points to the concern being too little stimulus vs. too much. This is all based on what the data tells us.

Question - What are the critical pieces of legislation that need to pass while we have a D majority and what are your thoughts about filibuster?

Answer - Voting Rights, infrastructure and climate change. Need to get House Bill 1 or Senate bill 1 signed into law because Republicans seem to be determined to hold onto power in any way possible.

Filibuster - Concerns. Need to have multiple incentives for bipartisan cooperation and it is a tool that forces this, but a minority can’t have complete veto power over the will of the people. We need to return to the talking filibuster - if you want to block a bill, you need to stay on the floor and talk to block it. It would make it much more difficult to talk as they would have to hold the floor to speak and work it through. This is hard to do, but the real value is that the American people get to see who is blocking this and why. We are going to have to see if we can encourage participation on enough critical things - example things like background checks. 

Question - Will the Dem agenda need to be one of Incrementalism or will any other large pieces of legislation be possible?

Answer- yes possibly, but have one more reconciliation left to do something major. Really depends on if Republicans see that American Rescue Plan was popular and want to get in on some credit or if they want to just obstruct.

One more reconciliation process left this year. Would prefer to have bipartisan, but …reducing pharma cost, incentivizing innovation, strengthening supply chain.

Raised $20 million last time, may need $40 million this time because McConnell believes this is the easiest flip to make. Total spend last time was $120 Million. 
Field team is CRITICAL anda strong field operation costs money.
We have a team that has done this multiple times over and that is why we are getting started early and why the early money is important.

Comments on how to manage as a Dem in a conservative/purple state. 

Question - Does Voting Rights include anything that will quell the skyrocketing spending requirements of these races?

Answer - Yes, there are requirements for disclosure for “dark money” super PACS. Just requiring that to be revealed would be huge because that will be enough to stop some donors. There is also some work on public financing. I think that will help a lot. 

Question - Tax Law...

There are provisions in the Tax Bill that we can take and use to pay for other spending we want to do. Have to choose the battles and this isn’t probably the first thing to be attacked, but there are people wondering about the big corporate tax breaks. 

It seems like about every 80 years American goes through a major polarization due to a massive global event, like a war, or now a pandemic. But we have reason for hope, the American people did make a choice for a sane, just, and fair leader. Hopeful as people see Biden/Harris doing their jobs, and congress providing relief, managing a pandemic, and that the American people will have the opportunity to see a government that reflects who they are.

People have a right to expect their elected leaders to work together and help unite the country. We will have to confront ugliness of white supremacy and domestic terrorism, but we have innovative creative people who have the will to tackle this and we will. At the WH, I found myself thinking that Biden was as generous with his time and as optimistic as I’ve ever seen him.

Thank you!
Communications Team

Password - 2021X0vmfWcz5
Executive Committee members:
Casey Chapman Ross, Beth Falcone, Karen Meyer, Karyn Scott, Kelly Dixon, Mary Anna Paul, Stacy Alexander, Hannah Temple, Laura Rose Wilson, Tanya Payne, Nan McRaven, Helen Bryan, Laura Cho, Lizza Harrison, Meena Vendal, Pooja Sethi, Amy Brown, Yael Ouzillou, Susan Blount, Laura Hernandez and Elizabeth Bray

Group and Committee Chairs:
I2E Co-Chairs 2021 - Laura Hernandez and Elizabeth Bray
Candidate Co-Chairs- Lizza Harrison (EWA) and Pooja Sethi (Texas)
Membership Co-Chairs-  Beth Falcone and Kelly Dixon
Events Co-Chairs- Amy Brown and Tanya Payne
Finance Chair- Susan Blount
Governance Chair- Laura Scanlan Cho